Kids Love Dr. Barton

My Kids Are Driving Me Nuts!

by Dr. Douglas Barton, M.D., Pediatrician 03/09/2009

Kids…they stretch you, they pull you, they make you cry both tears of joy and tears of frustration, they test their limits and they test your limits…yet still, we love them. Yes, I do know some people who truly are happier without kids, but most of us are glad we have them and would be lost without them. Have you ever thought about what it is about kids that makes this all work?

I have two of my own, as many of you know. My oldest is challenged with a difficulty seeing anyone else’s point of view. You see, his point of view is always right (even when it is clearly wrong!) My youngest is a charmer, always looking out to see if she’s pleasing everyone she can. Needless to say, the two of them just can’t seem to get along. The oldest doesn’t understand why the youngest even needs to live under our roof, and the youngest doesn’t understand why her brother doesn’t cut her some slack. Constant bickering is the result. I suspect it’s not much different in your home if you have more than one. If you only have one, then all the backtalk probably comes entirely to you rather than a sibling.

So how do you put up with it? Well, for one, there are those “magic moments.” While my son can’t get along with his sister, he has a particularly fond spot for our cats (all six, yes, six of them!). We have the privilege of living in the woods, so if one of the cats were to get out and not come in at night, there is the very real possibility of it getting eaten by a coyote. The other day, two of them got out! While my son couldn’t care less if his sister were to get eaten by a coyote (just kidding…kind of), the thought of one of the cats getting eaten sent him into a flurry of activity, looking high and low outside and then gently, yes, gently, cajoling the cats to come back to him so he could bring them back safely indoors! Who’d have thought that my hard-headed son could be gentle?

Then there’s the look that my daughter gets when I quietly tell her we’re going to leave my son at home and get something special for ourselves. Fortunately, spending time with my daughter is not a chore. I can sit with her at a restaurant, buy her a small dessert, ask one single question and then just sit back and listen to the results. I barely even have to talk at all, which is a good thing as those of you who know me already know.

We have hopes and dreams for all our kids. They all produce magic moments. They all come back for help at times. They all need a shoulder to cry on at times. Eventually, they will be our hope for a better neighborhood, city, state and country. Yes, even the good ones are very trying. I have my fair share of kids that are more than difficult in my practice. Every day, I wonder how some parents cope with their difficult children, but I hope that noticing the magic moments and treasuring them continues to make it all worthwhile for all of them.




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